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Too often, I give unsolicited advice. Someone starts sharing something with me, and I have to “add my two cents.” My goal to tell what my experience was in a similar situation, or advice on how the person could have handled it differently becomes more important than listening to what was being shared. I wait for a pause in the story so that I can talk. I “hear” but I’m not “listening.” And worst of all, sometimes I try to “fix it” when all my friend needs is to work out the problem out loud. Now, I try to control what and how much I say.  I have TWO ears and ONE mouth! My goal is to ask questions using the journalistic who, what, where, when, why, and how method. By drawing their experience out, by showing true interest in the person and the situation, it deepens my understanding of what is truly needed of me. Can you relate? What do you think you’ll do differently next time someone needs to bend your ear?

Read more from Kayla Marnach!